Hyundai kills Azera sedan for U.S. car market

Korean automaker Hyundai is killing off the Azera sedan for the U.S. market after customers lost interest and the company emphasized its new luxury brand.

Originally designed as an upscale model, the Azera fell out of favor after Hyundai shifted its focus to the premium Genesis lineup.

The probable death blow was the industrywide shift from passenger cars into crossovers and sport-utility vehicles amid low gasoline prices and changing design preferences.

The Azera was "on the periphery of purchase consideration" for many shoppers, Hyundai acknowledged. The 2017 model-year will be the last version offered at American dealerships.

That assessment is on full view in sales results. The company sold 1,792 units of the Azera in the first six months of 2017, down 30.4% from a year earlier.

"The Azera premium sedan has been a successful model in the Hyundai line-up for a number of years, with great style, comfort and generous amenities, all at a very appealing price point," Hyundai said. "Over the last few years, however, the Hyundai and Genesis line-ups have continued to increase the appeal of their models."

The company increasingly directed luxury shoppers to Genesis models such as the G80 and G90.

The company said the mid-size Hyundai Sonata also appeals to buyers of the Azera, which had competed with full-size cars such as the Toyota Avalon, Nissan Maxima and Chevrolet Impala.

Hyundai also said Wednesday that it would discontinue the hatchback version of the Accent subcompact.

New 2018 vehicles include the Hyundai Kona crossover and the Elantra GT.

Follow USA TODAY reporter Nathan Bomey on Twitter @NathanBomey.

© 2017 USATODAY.COM


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